Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Is There A Doctor In The House?

People who know me personally are aware that I only take sick kids to the doctor when I absolutely have to.  I don't take temperatures, I don't worry about strep.  If a kid is sick, he lies around until he gets better, unless he has a high fever/pain that doesn't respond to Motrin.  (Yes, I know, I'm a dead ringer for Florence Nightingale.) 

Usually, this laidback attitude pays off; but there was the time I did finally bestir myself to take a 4-year-old David into the doctor for what seemed to be the absolutely worst case of pinkeye I had ever seen.  I mean, his face was sort of swollen and he was just lying there, not moving, in the easy chair.  Turns out he had pneumonia, poor kid.  Yeah.  Sort of called that one wrong, didn't I?


 All of which leads to today's problem: Brian had a cold 3 weeks ago (see how useful keeping a blog is?), and he is still coughing.  Perfectly fine otherwise, but every morning I hear him hacking away like a 3-pack-a-day smoker.  It comes back in the evening around bedtime.  Oh, and if he tries to run, he coughs then, too.  It's not wheezing or asthmatic sounding; it sounds like there is some gunk sitting down there that he is trying to get up.  And he is still blowing his nose all the time.


So?  What to do?  No fever, no real complaints (he's a naturally cheerful guy), so it can't be walking pneumonia, can it?  I'm not calling the advice nurse, because she would just tell me to bring the kid in, to play it safe.  I hate to bring him to the doctor unnecessarily, because Lord knows what mysterious disease he'll pick up there.  And I'd feel stupid having the doctor tell me that the kid just has a cold.  I'm supposed to know what I am doing by now, for heaven's sake.   Am I wrong in assuming that, if it was bacterial pneumonia, he would have a fever?

[Sigh. I Googled for a nurse hat image and got an absolute eyeful.  "Buxom" doesn't even begin to describe it.]



[Nurse hat image: GraphicsHunt]

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17 comments:

  1. My guess is that it's a secondary (likely bacterial) upper respiratory infection (but it could be pneumonia). I had one of those pesky infections a week or two before I had my youngest kid and it lasted for three weeks after when I finally broke down and got some antibiotics. My lungs have never been the same since. They are extra sensitive to the "particulate matter" and ozone alert days we get in the summer.

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  2. Any chance the cough is from allergies? I'd go in though, just to be sure. I am very much a better safe than sorry Mom when it comes to doctors.

    I am also a big believer in the "copay cure." I pay the copay and they are cured before the doctor even sees us.

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    1. Actually, I think I've just discovered the "blogging cure." Brian woke up without coughing today, the little trickster. Still congested and still coughing off and on, but not hacking away...

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    2. AnonymousJune 07, 2012

      maybe still take him in??? Anonymous RN..i also was going to say pneumonia but didn't want to seem to obvious..i mean we are all "Dr House" here are we not? lol

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  3. AnonymousJune 06, 2012

    yes a Dr AND an RN here..take him in,,,,not all kids get fevers and if you are not taking his temp all the time a temp of say 100.0 may be very high for a kid who normally runs 97.3. Also that is pretty long. 3 weeks..I hate bringing our kids too. We rarely go...but even with a Dr in the house he is not a Peds Dr....I wouldn't gamble with my kids health. It's tricky as I have had Drs tell me certain issues were "fine" over and over with my kids and then we took them to specialists and come to find out having a piece of stool the size of a grapefruit is not "fine".....so do what ya think...but I would take him in. Maybe reflux? My mother in law hacks something awful and she has GERD.

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  4. I would take him in. It might be bronchitis. I remember once Rick had a terrible cough for weeks and couldn't shake it. Finally forced him to go to the doctors who put him on an antibiotic. Kicked it out of him in 24 hours. And if he is having trouble running. . . . .

    And if it is nothing, well at least you know you were trying to be a good mother!

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  5. Sounds like bronchitis to me ... Hubble had it for over a month... Needed an antibiotic , and steroid to get it to go away. :( just a thought

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  6. It's whooping cough. My friend's kid just had it.

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  7. Take him in . 3 weeks is too long for a cold, and if it is worse with exercise, I'd take him in.

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  8. Didn't my mother ever tell you the story of me acting like a total PITA only to take me to the doctor for something else entirely and be told I had walking Pneumonia???

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  9. I have no good advice to give you.....because I am just like you. My story of giving a wrong diagnosis to one of my children....was when my oldest broke his leg. It was a long time ago....but he still tells the story and makes me sound like an awful mother! Keep us posted!

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  10. Ack! My daughter has had a cough now for a couple of months but she's so healthy and fine otherwise I've just been waiting for it to go. Only really coughs in the mornings and a little at night and it's seemed crazy to drag her to the doctor for it, but after reading these comments I'm thinking I need to make an appointment....

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  11. Or a sinus infection or allergies. I'd take him in--like Jenn, I find the co-pay cure usually works wonders.

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  12. I'd try that Mucus/Phlegm cough medicine/pills. If that doesn't work, I'd probably haul his carcass in to the doc. But I'm the kind of mom who crazy glues a small cut on the underneath of his chin shut rather than wait 5 hours in the local ER. (He felt cool, especially with the pics I took for the 'pain wall of fame'. And it helped that my sis was in town, and recommended the treatment - her being an ER nurse & all!)

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  13. My thoughts turn to bronchitis as well. I had it 2 winters ago and it was miserable - and I didn't have a fever. You could always try giving him an expectorant (like Mucinex) first for a couple of days and see if that helps break up the gunk. And I swear by Vick's Vaporub at night - put some on his chest and also right under his nose, above the lip. If none of this works, it's time to give in and go to the doctor, otherwise he is more likely to develop pneumonia. http://www.answers.com/topic/bronchitis Hope he feels better soon!

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  14. I get The Cough from allergies and I also have asthma. But the cough doesn't sound asthmatic. It's just an annoying cough. Sometimes I get it when I'm trying to go to sleep. WTF?

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  15. I'm sure it's allergies. He'll be fine. If it was worse he'd have a fever.

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